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On April 4th rally and other updates

By Malkhaz Matsaberidze
Monday, March 9
The Georgian Dream is preparing to win the 2020 parliamentary elections and if it does manage, it will be their third term even though the local experts and members of the opposition believe that ‘two governmental terms’ is an unwritten rule of the Georgian politics. Looking at the post-Soviet history of Georgia, no governments remained for more than two terms after adopting the 1995 constitution. Eduard Shevardnadze in 1995 and 1999, and in 2003, the Rose Revolution happened. Mikheil Saakashvili won the 2004 and 2008 parliamentary elections but was defeated in 2012, while the Georgian Dream won the 2012 and 2016 elections and now is planning to repeat the victory in 2020.

Why April 4th?

The United Opposition is planning a mass protest on April 4th. Some political analysts consider publicising the date of the rally in advance is a mistake. A massive rally won’t put the government in the mood for stepping back and if the rally doesn't have a large turnout, it will be seen as the opposition’s weakness. The Georgian Dream counts the people at the opposition’s rallies every time and uses it against them.

By April 4th, the prolonged discussion about the electoral system will be over. The government is probably going to conduct the elections with the system it chooses. The opposition is probably going to deal with it and name the candidates as well as introduce an action plan on April 4th.

The rally needs to be carefully prepared. For a massive rally, people need to be brought from the regions and funds have to be organised. As for the demonstration, its nature will depend on the number of people gathered. It is also suggested that the opposition will continue the rally at least until April 9th.

Russian vector of Georgian elections

The report of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service became a subject of discussion in Georgia. It had nothing new to say about our country but briefly describes Russian policy - in 2019, Russia intensified pressure on Georgia, actively using soft power and enhancing propaganda, making Russia's action in the Tskhinvali region ‘more aggressive and provocative.’ It was also noted that Russia will seek to influence Georgia’s 2020 elections to ‘provide a more favorable outcome’ for itself.

The statement made by Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the Council of Europe Committee planned for May 14-15 also speaks about how Russia will intensify its pressure on Georgia. The Russian delegation is also supposed to visit with Lavrov leading it. Russia is laying the responsibility on the Georgian government in advance, stating that ‘provocations are expected from the Georgian government.’

The second coming of the General Prosecutor

On February 18, the Georgian government, more precisely the Georgian Dream (only they participated in the voting), brought Irakli Shotadze to the post of the General Prosecutor. The selection process of the General Prosecutor once again became the reason for a clash regarding the condition of the judicial system.

The judicial system is the biggest weakness for post-Soviet Georgia. It is always seen in two ways- the government thinks everything is in order and nothing is threatening its independence; for the opposition, the judiciary is a submissive tool in the hands of the authorities.

The Georgian Dream is stating that Irakli Shotadze, a dignified person and a professional has come back to the office. The opposition believes Shotadze is a credible and obedient figure to Ivanishvili, who will use him for political persecution. Once elected, it was said that Shotadze’s first case will be Nika Melia’s arrest.
(Translated by Mariam Mchedlidze)